"If you build it..."

I'm a sucker for lifestyle magazines. You know the ones where everyone is super well-dressed and chatting and dining in gorgeous surroundings? Sucker. Me.

I'm the one who tears pages out of said magazines and puts them into an idea file. That's right, Pinterest, I was way ahead of your time.

I'm not casting aspersions on Pinterest in any way. I love it almost too much, but I really, really love to have the glossy pictures to look at and dream over. (Note: You are welcome to track my obsession follow my boards on Pinterest. Thankyouverymuch.)

Back to my infatuation with lifestyle magazine layouts. I think my favorite photos always include a group of happy people sharing a meal together. There's something so inviting about a crisp, white tablecloth and an abundant table settting. If all this happiness happens outdoors, I'm practically delirious. *insert a longing sigh here*

So, I've been working on my Summer Manifesto (I promise to write about this really soon) and one of the items on it was that I wanted to serve a meal outdoors at least once a week. Ambitious, I know. But if there's one thing I also know for sure, it's that unless I'm proactive about doing some of the things I dream about, and formally write them down, they tend to stay right there in Marta's Perfect Life Fantasy File.

I've been dreaming for years now about a big, long farmhouse table that seats at least 10 or 12. Like this one:

Pb table
NOTE: This in NOT a photo of my home. This is from the PB catalog. It's priced at $1,899. (Isn't it fabulous, though?)

Our house is, of course, freakishly small cottage-like and a table of this size wouldn't fit. But wouldn't it be a wonderful thing to have a table like this outdoors?

"We can make it ourselves!" I say this with as much enthusiasm as I can muster, because of course, we both know that when I say, "we," I really mean, "you." (This logic seems to work on my husband most days. Nod your head if you agree, please.)

The reason I know that this beauty can be made is that my good friend, Jana, has a couple of tables like this that her husband built. She was the one who turned me on to the genius of Ana White and Knock-off-Wood and her Free and Easy DIY furniture plans.

That's me, going all Fangirl on Ana White when I met her a few years ago at Blogalicious in Miami. Also, she is a beautiful, gracious and very down-to-earth lady.

So, The Farmhouse Table...

We're talking about my Dream Farmhouse Table over dinner a few weeks ago. Technically, I was just fantasizing out loud about it, (but that's not important right now) and my daughter, Lucy, who has been building sets and creating stage magic in college for the last couple of years, speaks up...

"If you have the plans, we* can build it, mom." (*we meaning her and The Beau.)

I have the plans. I know about Ana White and her DIY magic. (I am winning.)

Lucy and The Beau dutifully went off to the local Home Depot with the list of supplies and for $143.00 and change came back with everything needed to build the $1,899. farmhouse table. (I'm seriously winning here.)

And they started building.

The DIY Farmhouse Table

Farmhouse table 2

It seemed to come together almost effortlessly. Let me insert a caveat here: It seemed to come together effortlessly for people who know how to build stuff, which they do. They're quite the formidable team, in fact. But that's not important right now, either.

Farmhouse table 1

Farmhouse table drilling

There was clamping and drilling and hammering and all sorts of happy building noises. They started the table around 2:00 pm and finished around 7:00 pm.

Dancing on the table
Here's Lucy tap-dancing on the table to show off it's sturdiness.

And there was much celebrating and over-sharing on Instagram and Facebook. (Shut up. I know.)

The farmhouse table

I waited until it got dark to feed them. 1) Because they still had to clean up and all that. 2) I wanted The Full Effect of the table and the candles and the lights and the flags.  3) It was quite a feast and it was totally magical. 4) I think the food actually tasted better outdoors.

Dinner on the farmhouse table

There will be many, many more outdoor meals this summer. And I'm well on my way to fulfilling the items on my Summer Manifesto. 

I have to say right here that I am supremely blessed to live with such an amazing collection of talented people that I get to call my family. They are not only encouraging, but also enthusiastic about all my crazy projects.

Kudos to Lucy and The Beau (he's still a little new to this group and a bit shy about having his picture shared so publicly, so I'm going to respect that...for now) who both worked so remarkably hard to make my wish come true. Thanks, guys.

Did I mention I lead a charmed life?

Finished farmhouse table

“If you build it, he will come.” ~Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams

“If you build it, I will cook. A lot.” ~ Marta Darby